I’ve learned something recently.

Something that has taken me over 30 years to figure out.

I’m actually ok with being me!

Don’t get me wrong, I still struggle with body image but I’m quicker to kick myself in the ass and correct myself about it now! Maybe age has something to do with it, but I feel the pressure is probably more on someone my age than in their 20’s…because let’s face it…youth is beauty at it’s ripest!

I’ve started to wonder, why does ‘the natural look’ involve a 5 step process of contouring, 6 layers of foundation, a touch of highlighter and some lashes? And then on top of all of that we go and put a filter over a perfectly flawless photograph!!

Why are we risking our health injecting poison into our bodies to flatten out our wrinkles?

I tell you, each of my wrinkles could write a book! But I’d rather they disappear with a jab of a needle! Why? We spend thousands of our hard earned money on customising ourselves adding implants here and there to shape our bodies into something that just isn’t ‘natural’.

Why??? Society…that’s why.

Us, you, me, her, him, they.

Media, celebrities, friends, family.

Somebody telling us that this is what ‘perfect’ is. But there is no such thing! And even if there was I can tell you one thing that isn’t…Plastic.

We live in a world where it is near impossible to love yourself, so we try to make a better-looking version of ourselves, slightly chipping away at our natural self with each jab of the needle, until we are left looking at a stranger in the mirror!

Would you love a stranger?

I remember singing ‘Barbie Girl’ when it was first released 20 years ago.

What an earworm!

You can’t tell me you didn’t sing along when Aqua came blaring through the radio! What a fun song!

What you probably don’t know, is Barbie Girl was written as a comment on society and how unrealistic body image was affecting women!

It was marketed as a fun song because Mattel (the creator of Barbie) sued the record label over the defaming lyrics and it had a negative affect on the famous ‘perfect doll’, however, Aqua won on the grounds it was written as a novelty song!

I now look at this song in a completely different light and hear it a completely different way… This is my version of Barbie Girl.

Last week I did something extraordinary and damn it felt good.
I did a cleanse.
It wasn’t your average everyday juice cleanse, this was a cupboard cleanse.
No, I didn’t clean out all my kitchen cupboards, I tossed out a heap of clothes from my wardrobe and it got my adrenalin pumping like a fitness class.
I didn’t realise how much “stuff” I was carrying around, and I say carrying around because I didn’t realise until I cleaned my cupboard how emotionally invested I was with some of my things.
Some of you may not understand this and think I’m a little crazy, but I honestly felt lighter after the intervention from my mate and styling guru Des Eddy and I mean physically lighter.
I had so many clothes in my wardrobe that I felt attached to and it wasn’t until after I threw them out, that realised I thought I was still the girl I was a few years ago, fat Heidi.
About six months ago Des and I met hosting a fashion parade at Ocean Keys Shopping Centre in Perth, he styled me up for the show and we did a few videos, when we were talking, he said to me “Oh you still think, you’re that bigger girl.”
 For the last few years, I have been choosing a healthier lifestyle and naturally lost weight (ok I lie, not naturally, I have been trying so bloody hard and tried every diet in the book) but I was still seeing myself as that “bigger” girl and buying clothes to cover up all my lumps and bumps.
My cupboard was full of shawls that cover up my arms and dresses that were so baggy they looked like garbage bags on.
My legging collection was outrageous with two full drawers as I would wear them with baggy tops because I felt comfortable in them but as Des pointed out this was “Old Heidi” and my wardrobe was still full of clothes that lacked self-confidence.
I couldn’t believe how much emotion a piece of clothing could hold, and nor will you until you go nuts at your place.
Des and Ocean Keys Shopping Centre approached me about doing another series of videos with them regarding fashion and a cupboard cleanse just a few weeks ago and I jumped at the chance, the last time I met Des I threw out 15 grocery bags of clothes, so him coming to my house was going to mean I could let go of my past a little more.
I was pumped!
Des arrived at my place last week, with a massive smile, the pure delight he had in throwing out another 3 large garbage bags of clothes and shoes was written all over his face.
If you’re reading this now, thinking I don’t have anything to wear, then I can guarantee you probably have too much to wear and you need to get to the kitchen now, grab some garbage bags and head straight for your wardrobe.
You will feel so much lighter once you’ve cleansed.
Warning though, things might get emotional but my god you will feel good after!
You have to ask yourself as you pick up each piece of clothing some super important questions like, does it fit? Have I worn this in the last 12 months? Is it likely I will ever wear this again? (This one is a tough question to answer because I find you can easily make times up in your head, so you don’t have to chuck! So be BRUTAL and don’t kid yourself!) Is this currently in style, and/or does this still accurately represent my style?
Is it damaged? (Because guess what, if it is, it also goes in the garbage bag. I tried to tell Des that I’d take some of my damaged pieces into be fixed. His response was priceless with “That will never happen. Now bin it!” )
The list of questions goes on, if I was shopping right now, would I buy this?
And most importantly: Do I feel confident when I wear this?
In Des’ own words, “If you answer a firm “no” to any of the above, it’s time to say sayonara and decide whether to sell, donate, swap, or toss the item!”
It doesn’t stop there though, you have only just begun, it’s now time to get organised!
Start by making piles on one side of the room with skirts, shirts etc all separate of course.
You then need to make some really tough and life changing decisions, you must now pull out your Greatest Hits, select ONE piece from each pile that you wear the most. As Des explained to me, “It’s not your favourite piece, but the one you wear the most, so be brutal with yourself Heidi. It’ll be worth it in the long run.”
Once you’ve identified your greatest hits line them up on the opposite side of the room.
The hard work isn’t over my friends, you can now colour code.
If you find that you have multiples of the same item like me! Then you must grab the one you wear the most and leave the others, I know right! This was one of the hardest things I had to do because I had multiples of the same dresses, pants and tops. If something looks good on me, I’ll buy it in all its colours.
Des was holding six dresses of the exact same make and style but different colours and said, “Don’t rationalise subtle difference, Heidi, Bin baby, these are Old Heidi.”
You’ll notice with such a reduced colour pallet, it will be easier to utilise what you have and put together outfits based on what silhouettes and design details work best together.
“Over time you’ll hone what design elements work best for you, which will make you a more strategic shopper in the long run instead of just following the trends.”
The best thing about doing this with Des is he had no emotional attachment to my clothes, I couldn’t believe how many pieces I had that I no longer wore because they were too big, but I had kept because we had history.
Doing this, was a truly rewarding experience.
But it’s NOT over, if you’re clearing our your wardrobe now, you still need to put away what you left.
Start by putting back all your colour-coded picks and organise them by silhouette, then by colour. That means putting all your skirts together in colour order, then putting all your pants together in the same colour order.
“Take your time with this step. Get to know these pieces of clothing a little better, especially if you haven’t worn them in a while. You’ll probably start making up new outfits in your mind long before you finish hanging everything up.”

FREMANTLE based independent pop artist Philip La Rosa launched his music video last year during Pride celebrations in Western Australia with a message of hope, love and equality.

Directed by Jacqueline Pelczar and produced by Elaine Smith, the video shows the everyday struggles of five characters who in the end, break free and embrace themselves for who they are.

With a powerful, motivational anthem about equality and staying true to yourself – La Rosa hopes through his music he can ignite a fire in others to chase their dreams and stand up for what they believe.

His passion for music started at the age of 10, which lead him on a long journey to releasing his first single, Pride – at the age of 23. As a gay musician, La Rosa has not been without his own personal struggles. La Rosa’s dream of becoming a singer was temporarily shelved at the age of 15, when he was driven to drop out of vocal and dance lessons and school entirely when he became a victim of bullying. Feeling disheartened he decided to turn his focus to another creative talent – website and graphic design. By the age of 18, he had established his own business – a website and graphic design agency. With his knowledge in this field, La Rosa was able to design and develop his own marketing materials, from the cover of his new EP to his website that showcases his music career.

If you haven’t heard, STRONG is La Rosa’s debut EP featuring his popular single Pride. The EP takes you on a journey of his life, from heart break and battling bullying to discovering himself and finding love and happiness.
I LOVE IT!!!!!!!